RANGELY I The Rangely Area Chamber of Commerce is hoping to start off 2016 with a bang by introducing several new programs to the community.
Chamber Director Kristin Steele is excited about the new programs and their potential impact on the community.
“By shopping local, people are supporting our schools, fire station, police, our streets and parks,” she said. “It is easy to forget all that and just go for the convenience of ordering your laundry soap and paper towels on Amazon.
“I realize that not everyone will always realize what spending a dollar here versus online or out of town really means, but if I can get them to buy locally because they can get an instant reward from doing so, then I am getting them to support our schools, roads and parks without them even having to think about it,” she said.
Beginning Feb. 17, the chamber will host Rangely’s first ever Cash Mob. It will be a continual event occurring the third Wednesday of each month.
Each month, a different local chamber member business will host the Cash Mob. For several hours specified by the hosting business, customers will be rewarded for shopping with entries into a drawing for Chamber Bucks.
For every $10 spent at the business, customers will be given one entry to win $50 in Chamber Bucks, which can be used at any Chamber member business. Participating businesses are encouraged, but not required, to offer special discounts to customers during the Cash Mob.
Businesses that are not retail oriented are also eligible to participate. However, instead of offering the prize entries for spending money, the Cash Mob will operate as an open house, providing entries to anyone who stops by.
Steele also plans to include home-based businesses by allowing them to hold their Cash Mobs at the new chamber office once it has been relocated to their new location in the old Kum ‘N’ Go building.
“The purpose of these mobs are to support local businesses and the overall community by increasing local business awareness, community support and community involvement,” said Steele.
Another new program with the goal of encouraging residents to shop local is the Receipt Drive. Shoppers who want to participate are asked to save their receipts from local chamber member businesses. They are to write their name and phone number on the back of the receipts, bring them by the chamber office and drop them into the Shop Local box.
On the first working day of each month, Steele will draw a receipt from the box. The winner will receive $100 in Chamber Bucks. Receipts must be from the month of the drawing and cannot be photocopies. However, if participants would like to retain their original receipt they can ask Steele to photocopy it for them.
February will be the first month of the program with the first winner drawn March 1. A list of chamber member businesses is available at rangelychamber.com or at the chamber office.
Steele is also hoping to increase membership in the chamber itself by offering a membership discount to new businesses.
Any local business that has been established less than two years will be offered a 10 percent discount on membership.
The Chamber ended 2015 with 99 members and hopes to continue to expand.
“There are many rewards to shopping local and supporting our community, but not always do people realize what shopping local actually means,” Steele said.